Gulfstream Today 1.3.2013
Lead: Ron Marano’s 5-year-old Determinato was back in the winners’ circle at Gulfstream Park Thursday almost two years ago to the day since winning the 2011 Spectacular Bid Stakes.
Making his first start since July at Calder and first for trainer Bill White, Determinato broke out of the gate in front under jockey Luis Saez in the five-furlong turf dash, dueled for the lead into the stretch and was never seriously threatened as he crossed under the wire one length clear of Trilogy Stable’s Saint Pete second in an allowance race.
“I’ve had him for about two months.” said White. “When I started looking for a race to bring him back I realized he was eligible for ‘two other than’ despite being a stakes winner. So when I saw this race going five-eighths I thought it was the easiest spot for his comeback.
“He had run well in his only two previous starts sprinting on turf. On his form it looked like he wasn’t really finishing in his races on dirt like he does on turf. We’ll keep all options open, but he could just be better on turf.”
Determinato was on the sidelines for some 15 months after the Spectacular Bid victory before returning to competition at Calder on Apr. 20. He ran well to finish second in the Champali Stakes on turf in mid-May and third in the Turf Sprint Stakes there in early July in his two previous starts on grass, but had not won a race since the Spectacular Bid.
Everything’s Cricket Stable’s 8-year-old veteran Awakino Cat rallied for third in Thursday’s field of seven, 1 ½ lengths behind the runner-up. A Florida homebred by Closing Argument, Determinato paid $8 for $2 to win and was timed the five-eighths in 56:15 over the ‘firm’ course.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Paco Lopez rode back-to-back longshots to wire-to-wire victories in the fifth and six races with Northwest’s Hope paying $73.20 for $2 and Forest Station returning $73.60, respectively. Jockey Luis Saez drove You Lovely to hold on for a dead-heat victory in the 10th race finale for his third score of the afternoon.
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $39,790.20